The aftermath of the horrific mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, is following the familiar trajectory of the other too-frequent mass shootings, with Republicans insisting this is no time to talk about gun policy and fighting back with an onslaught of thoughts and prayers.
Leave it to former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, though, to add a new wrinkle to the rotation.
In an interview with the daily Mensa Members For Trump meeting that is “Fox & Friends,” Spicer insisted “the vetting system did work” in the Sutherland Springs shooting, which even Steve Doocy then had to explain was not true. You know you're headed for trouble when Spicer says “The reality is ...”:
SPICER: But the reality is, and I know that you guys are going to have folks talking about this today, is that the vetting system did identify this individual, but the system failed us. And so the idea that a reporter would talk about, you know, I understand the question about, you know, do you think the system broke down a lot along the way, I think we're finding out more and more it did, but the reality is the vetting system did work. This individual was identified because of the record, and because of the actions that they'd taken that should have stopped them from buying a gun, and that's what we should be focusing on so that these tragedies don't happen again.
DOOCY: Indeed, because Sean, for folks who are just waking up, the Air Force did not report this guy to the national database, that's why he was able to buy the rifle that he used in that massacre, also he lied on one of the forms.
It's a neat trick, even for Spicer, to claim the system failed and worked in literally the same breath, but that's what you would expect from an artist of such virtuosity.
But to quote Spicer, “the reality is” the U.S. Air Force reporting to the national database is the system, and it did not, in fact, work. That's a fact. It would be a matter of very informed opinion to say the system failed because it is inadequate, but the fact is that it failed.
Facts, though, don't matter any more, if they ever did. Now, only the “feelings” of an extreme minority of the voting-age population matter, and the 73 percent of Americans who did not vote for Trump can't seem to be made to care more about not getting shot than gun-lovers care about getting their jollies at the shooting range.
Watch the full interview below.